recreational study assistant
Thursday, October 20 2005
Last night it was so warm that I actually left my laboratory window open. That was a bad idea, because it was down to fifty degrees Fahrenheit this morning, and that was a temperature that clung like a wet pair of pants all day long.
Having checked off a bunch of solar-project-related items from my to do list since returning from the Holy Lands, I turned my attention to the writing the account of my recent adventures. The self-imposed assignment was a large one, and to help me take the first step that would make all the subsequent ones easier, I enlisted the help of an over-the-counter cold medication that I occasionally deploy as an attention focuser and recreational study assistant: pseudoephedrine. The drug gets a bum rap because it is the main ingredient used in the manufacture of crystal methamphetamine and many states are trying to restrict its sale. Not so New York State, where you can still walk into any Target and get a 90-pill box of store-brand pseudoephedrine for about ten bucks. That's 2.7 grams of pure, powerful stimulant.
As I've been getting older I've been using less and less of the stuff when I do take it. A recreational dose used to be six 30 mg pills. Now it's more likely to be four, the number I took today. They had the desired effect and I got some good work done. I was focused and energetic but hardly euphoric. I seem to remember pseudoephedrine making me feel good in the past when I used to abuse it, but I haven't had that feeling for a couple years now.
Then later, about eight hours later in fact, I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep and I just couldn't. Alcohol is usually a good antidote to pseudoephedrine when you want the ride to stop so you can get off, but I'd already drunk some alcohol. Then, more worrisome still, I started suffering from waves of panic every several minutes or so. They came washing up from my body into my head, causing my heart to race and my head to feel suddenly pressurized. This is not an uncommon thing when I smoke pot, but I'm always concerned about the limits of my circulatory system when I've been abusing stimulants, since there is an upper limit to the amount of stimulation a human body can handle.
Happily, I didn't die, though eventually I did fall asleep[REDACTED].
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